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Many lawyers offer free consultations to prospective clients to determine if it is the right fit for the case. As much as you want your lawyer to be prepared, they are also looking for you to have done some preparation as well. These free consultations are not meant to offer you any legal advice but instead provide you with the opportunity to decide if this is the right lawyer for you. A good starting place is to seek out lawyers who practice law in the specific area of your legal question.

Do Your Research
Knowing your lawyer’s background can be a crucial step in choosing the right lawyer for you.  Find out what you can online before your consultation so you can spend your allotted time with the lawyer asking about their experience and their average verdict. Asking questions such as “how many similar cases have they done” and “how long have they been practicing law” can help you narrow down which lawyer will help you win your case.

Strategize
When you meet with the lawyer for your consultation, be sure to ask what they see as the strategy for your case. Important details to note are what they lawyer expects the outcome to be, how long they expect your case to be resolved, and if they plan to settle or take your case to court. Remember this consultation is so you may find the best lawyer for your needs. If you wish to avoid going to trial, but the lawyer is determined on taking your case to court, or vice versa, the lawyer tells you to settle but you want to see your day in court, it’s important that you discuss this before hiring someone to take on your case.

Legal Fees
Another important item to remember to discuss is what the legal fees will look like after this free consultation. Legal fees can be somewhat complex, so it’s important to know who will be working on your case, what the different bill rates are, and if they require a retainer. Court fees are another cost to consider. Ask what you can do to help keep your total cost down. Your lawyer will appreciate your willingness to help!

Carin Maxey’s blog posts are not legal advice and are meant for informational purposes only. If you require legal advice, please seek a licensed professional in your jurisdiction.